Text Size

New Adoptive Parents at Risk for Depression

posted 12:53 AM EST, Thu April 01, 2010

Researchers at Purdue University say that just as new moms get postpartum depression, newly adoptive parents are at risk of postadoption depression – a condition caused largely by a parenting reality that doesn’t meet expectations.

Karen J. Foli, assistant professor of nursing at Purdue University, ran a research study that looked into the causes of a condition called postadoption depression.

She interviewed newly adoptive parents as well as adoption experts and found some common themes amongst those new parents that had experienced a period of depression in the initial period post adoption.

She says that this depression seems most commonly caused by a parenting experience that doesn’t live up to what may have been unrealistic expectations. These expectations refer to the bonding and parenting experience and as well to expectations about how close relations, friends, and larger society will act after the adoption takes place.

Foli says that bonding can be a lot more challenging than newly adoptive parents had realized, and that many new adoptive parents are surprised, and disappointed, when they do not seem to get the same level of support that new birth parents seem to get.

Foli explained, saying, "Many adoptive parents spend their time during the adoption process demonstrating they are not only going to be fit parents, but super parents, and then they struggle with trying to be the world's best parent when the child is placed in the home. Adoptive parents also may experience feelings about their legitimacy as a parent, or even surprise if they don't readily bond with the infant or child."

The full research findings can be read in the Western Journal of Nursing Research.

Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category
Story Highlights
  • Postadoptive Depression: Bonding can be a lot more challenging than newly adoptive parents had realized
In Depth
Creative Commons License
Copyright Notice
We welcome republishing of our content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the respective authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Helpful Information
Overcoming Depression: Feeling Good Again with Mindfulness
Mindfulness and Depression: Learning to Feel Good Again © Premasagar
How Mindfulness can overcome depression, teach us how to ignore unwanted thoughts and help us choose what is healthy for ourselves. Read Article
Depression Treatment August 29, 2023
Use Gut Bacteria to Fight Anxiety and Depression
Gut Bacteria Protect Your Mental Health. Learn How to Protect Your Microbiome © NIAID
Imbalanced gut bacteria may increase your risk of anxiety, depression, obesity and a host of other diseases. Learn how digestive bacteria can cause anxiety and find out how dietary changes can help you instill or protect an optimal balance of beneficial bacteria. Read Article
Co-Occurring Disorders September 06, 2017

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.

Find Treatment
Browse by region »
Scan to call us
using your phone camera app